Month of February 2018: Holidays, Fun Facts, Folklore

Facts About February

By The Old Farmer's Almanac
Facts About February

Looking for facts about February 2018? This is a short month, so let’s celebrate all February has to offer!

A winter day! The feather-silent snow
Thickens the air with strange delight, and lays
A fairy carpet on the barren lea

–David Gray, Scottish poet (1838–61)


February comes from the Latin word februa, which means “to cleanse.” The month was named after the Roman Februalia, which was a month-long festival of purification and atonement. See all the month names.

It’s the only month to have a length of less than 30 days!  Though it’s usually 28 days, February is 29 days in leap years. This means it’s also the only month that can pass without a full Moon (as is the case this year).

Did you know: January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar (c. 713 BC); originally, winter was considered a month-less period. 

Originally, February was made the last month of the calendar year!  Eventually (c. 450 BC), February was moved to its place as the second month.

February Holidays

This short month if packed with holidays and history.

February Trivia

On February 4 of which year did the Electoral College unanimously elect George Washington as the first U.S. president?

a. 1777

b. 1779

c. 1782

d. 1789

Answer at bottom of page!


No Full Moon

There won’t be a full Moon in February, 2018. Having only 28 days in common years, February is the only month of the year that can pass without a single full moon

The full Moon rises on January 31 and March 1. See the Moon Guide for February for facts, folklore, and more.


Recipes for the Season

valentines-day-624440_1280_half_width.jpgGet cozy this month with a cut of real hot chocolate—with marshmallows, of course!

Ready for football food?  See our Super Bowl Dip Recipes —including spinach dip, guacamole, hummus, nacho layer dip, salsa and more!

For Valentine’s Day, we’ve gathered our favorite sweets and treats and romantic dinner ideas, too. See Valentine’s Day recipes.

New! Are you a chocolate lover? If so, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a dip into decadence. See our best chocolate dessert recipes.



This is month to plan your garden!  We’ll give you advice on how to space your plans and more! Try our Almanac Garden Planner for your best harvest yet. We’re offering a free 7-day trial.


Shop early for seeds from catalogs and garden stores. The early shopper gets the best choice of seed varieties. See our list of Seed and Plant Mail-Order Sources and our tips on ordering seeds.

Start onions from seed now. They’ll be ready for setting out in April. Onions from seed are generally firmer and longer lasting than from sets.

Start parsley indoors now. You may think you have successfully wintered over the plant, but it is a biennial and will soon go to seed.

Everyday Advice

In honor of Valentine’s Day, check out these pages on tips and advice in the love department:
How to Find Your Perfect Mate
How to Get Lucky the Old-Fashioned Way
The Aphrodisiac That Really Works


Best Days

Looking for the best days to quit smoking, prune trees, garden, wean babies, cut hair, lose weight, and more? See our Best Days by the Moon’s Sign.

February’s Zodiac Signs

Aquarius: January 20–February 19

Pisces: February 20–March 20


February’s Birth Flower

Even though so many roses are sold during February due to Valentine’s Day, the Violet and the Primrose are the symbolic flowers.

  • The violet signifies watchfulness, loyalty, and faithfulness. Give a violet to someone to let them know that you’ll always be there for them.
  • The primrose lets someone know that you can’t live without them.

See all birth flowers for the month and their meanings.


February’s Birthstone

Like the violet, February’s birthstone is a purple color.  It’s the beautiful amethyst.

  • This gem is a form of quartz; it can range from a pale lilac color to a deep, rich purple.
  • The name is based on a Greek myth that speaks of a nymph named Amethyst who was inadvertently turned into white stone; in remorse, the Greek god Bacchus poured wine over her to turn her a beautiful purple.
  • The amethyst was thought to prevent intoxication and keep its wearer thinking sharply. It was worn by English royalty in the Middle Ages.

Folklore for the Season

candle_0_half_width.jpgMarried in February’s sleety weather,
Life you’ll tread in tune together.


If February give much snow,
A fine summer it doth foreshow.

Fogs in February mean frosts in May.

If Candlemas Day [February 2] be mild and gay
Go saddle your horses, and buy them hay
But if Candlemas Day be stormy and black,
It carries the winter away on its back.

It is better to see a troop of wolves than a fine February.


February Birthdays

25 YEARS AGO (1993)
Jessica Korda (American professional golfer)
Tinashe (American singer and songwriter)

50 YEARS AGO (1968)
Kenny Albert (American sportscaster)
Gary Coleman (American actor)
Lisa Marie Presley (American singer and songwriter)
Mark Louis Recchi (Canadian ice hockey player)
Molly Ringwald (American actress)

100 YEARS AGO (1918)
Bobby Riggs (American tennis player)
Helen Stephens (American runner)
Robert Wadlow (American who held world record for tallest man, at 8 feet 11.1 inches)

125 YEARS AGO (1893)
Omar Bradley (American general)
Jimmy Durante (American comedian)

150 YEARS AGO (1868)
Evangeline Adams (American astrologer)
W.E.B. DuBois (American sociologist and civil rights activist)

200 YEARS AGO (1818)
Frederick Douglass (American abolitionist; birthdate unknown, but he celebrated Feb. 14)


*Answer to question at top of page: Answer: d, on February 4, 1789. Congress certified the vote on April 6. On April 30, Washington took the oath of office.

Reader Comments

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When is the best time to

When is the best time to prune back your rose bushes in Tatum TX?

The best time to prune roses

The best time to prune roses in East Texas depends on the type of rose. For Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and Grandifloras, the best time is around Valentine's Day or early March.

On pruning do you cut back

On pruning do you cut back to ground

need to prune crape myrtles

need to prune crape myrtles and roses and some other when is a good time, i live in north alabama

Crapemyrtles only need

Crapemyrtles only need limited pruning and this is best done in late winter to promote lush new growth in the spring. In February, prune hybrid tea roses in South Alabama; delay pruning for a few weeks in North Alabama.

I plan to build a new house

I plan to build a new house this coming march,can you help me what is better date I start? Hoping for your help..more power in this site..thanks

If you're speaking about the

If you're speaking about the "Best Days by the Moon," see our timetable here: Look for best days to pour concrete or set posts.
Practically speaking, most builders prefer late summer to fall because it avoids rainy season and they prefer cool to heat. However, those dates may also be busy and more expensive. It depends on your market. Hope this helps.

Best days to prune fruit

Best days to prune fruit trees

The best days to prune fruit

The best days to prune fruit trees is when the leaves are off (and the tree is dormant). Summer pruning removes leaves (food manufacturer), slows fruit ripening, and
exposes fruit to sunburn.
For our Best Days to Prune, based on the Moon's sign, see our timetable here:

I would really like to get

I would really like to get into all about doing things with the sun & moon, but have no idea exactely where to begin, I love to read the almanac but dont quite understand how to use it.

the monthly best time for

the monthly best time for cutting hair for growth.

when are the best days to cut

when are the best days to cut your hair for growth in Nov 2013?

What sign for destroying

What sign for destroying weeds?